Five Questions With…Tyler Rutstein
“Five Questions With…” is a series of profiles of CJC graduates and the career paths they chose.
1. Tell us about your current job.
I am the VP/GM of Overtime and Overtime Elite. I oversee our brand, consumer marketing, design and apparel + e-commerce business. Overtime builds disruptive new sports leagues aimed at the next generation of sports fans and athletes globally, and we leverage content across our network of over 65 million fans and followers.
2. Why did you choose to come to the UF College of Journalism and Communications?
During my freshman year, I was exploratory or “undecided.” I knew I wanted a major that allowed for the most creative freedom. I knew about the College’s amazing reputation and dropped into classes and loved them. It was the best place for me to find things I was passionate about and learn how to tell stories.
3. How did your time at CJC help prepare you for your current position?
My capstone class with Professor Ted Spiker prepared me a lot for my career. In that class, one writing project I did was a profile on tennis pro John Isner for Tennis Magazine. I didn’t know at that time that I would go onto work with many pro athletes and artists and help tell their stories through content, footwear and apparel throughout my career, but it was the best practice. Professor Spiker really pushed me to discover the details that we’re aspirational and the emotional drivers as to why so many of us look up to pro athletes.
4. Was there a defining moment, personally or professionally, at CJC that set you on your current path?
Professor Spiker had the biggest influence on me at CJC. I saw how he took a journalism degree and made a multi-dimensional career out of it. I loved Sports Illustrated, Men’s Health Magazine (both of which Professor Spiker wrote for), sneakers and playing a lot of basketball. I figured I would try and have a career where I can work on all of these things. Only CJC could allow me to hone in on all of those things at once.
5. If you had to do your academic experience or career over again, what, if anything would you do differently?
Oh that’s easy. I would have 1) been a first mover on Twitter and started doing more of it, 2) not dropped out of Photojournalism because I love photography and Instagram now (shame on me), 3) wrote more investigative pieces about our sports teams and athletes. I was a student during the “Tebow Era” and I recently saw there is a Netflix special coming on that run. I can’t wait to see it and hope they really peel back the curtain.
What advice do you have for students interested in pursuing a career similar to yours?
Be as curious as possible. Try to learn about a lot of different things because it will allow you to see things differently. Also, become an expert on TikTok. If I was interviewing a candidate for Overtime right now and they did a creative TikTok submission story, I’d be more likely to hire them instead of looking at a resume.
Where do you hope to be in your career in five years?
I’ve learned that this question is impossible to answer. My last four roles at Adidas and Overtime had never existed until I stepped foot into them. So my hope is really to continue to embrace change and a little belief in serendipity.